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2010 NHL Entry Draft: Colorado Avalanche draft preview

Visit NBC’s Draft Headquarters for our complete coverage of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

The Avalanche have been quietly rebuilding via the draft the past few years and this past season saw a number of their young players take the next step. They had to go outside the organization for help at goaltender, however, and with there already some nice depth on defense expect the Avalanche to focus on goaltending and plugging holes at left wing. With the 17th pick, there’s a chance they’ll have their choice at the top two goaltenders in the draft, an understandable pick considering their dire need for netminding talent under Craig Anderson.

2010 draft picks:

Round 1 - 17th
Round 2 - 47th
Round 3 - 77th
Round 4 - 107th
Round 5 - 137th
Round 5 - 139th
Round 7 - 197th

Top prospects (per Hockey’s Future):

1. Kevin Shattenkirk
2. Stefan Elliott
3. Ryan Stoa
4. Colby Cohen
5. Tyson Barrie
6. Kevin Porter
7. Cameron Gaunce
8. Brandon Yip
9. Joel Chouinard
10. Justin Mercier

PHT’s mock draft results:

17 - Jonathan Merrill - D - USA U-18 (USDP)

Has the tools to make a difference offensively, and is rock solid in his own end as well. He’s a big, hard hitting defenseman who is about as versatile as you could ask for, possessing great speed on top of his size and big shot.